Light-Seeking Robot

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Contributors: Shawn Hymel
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Introduction

Euglena is a genus of single-celled organisms that live in bodies of fresh and salt water. Most species of Euglena have chloroplasts that are used for photosynthesis, much like plants. Additionally, most contain a single photoreceptor and eyespot, allowing the Euglena to track and move toward light sources. To learn more about Euglena, see this Wikipedia page. You can also see hundreds of Euglenas swimming around in this video.

To emulate Euglena behavior, we’re going to make a light-seeking robot that moves toward areas of bright light. The SIK v4.0 only comes with one photocell (light sensor), which means that we will need to have our robotic “organism” turn left and right in order to detect the direction of brightest light.

Required Materials

You can complete this project with parts from the SparkFun Inventor’s Kit v4.0. Specifically, you will need:

You will also need (included in the SIK v4.0):

  • Binder clip
  • Velcro or Dual Lock fastener

Tools Needed:

Suggested Reading

If you aren’t familiar with the following concepts, we recommend checking out these tutorials before continuing:

What is an Arduino?

What is this 'Arduino' thing anyway?

Installing Arduino IDE

A step-by-step guide to installing and testing the Arduino software on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

TB6612FNG Hookup Guide

Basic hookup guide for the TB6612FNG H-bridge motor driver to get your robot to start moving!